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Religious Freedom and Gay RightsEmerging Conflicts in the United States and Europe$
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Timothy Shah, Thomas Farr, and Jack Friedman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190600600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 25 January 2022

Claims for Homosexual Equality and Religious Freedom in Tension

Claims for Homosexual Equality and Religious Freedom in Tension

Moral and Conceptual Frameworks

(p.209) 8 Claims for Homosexual Equality and Religious Freedom in Tension
Religious Freedom and Gay Rights

Rocco Buttiglione

Oxford University Press

This chapter moves toward an improved understanding of the tensions between gay rights and religious freedom by examining several key concepts: “homosexuality,” “discrimination,” “toleration,” and “marriage.” It argues that marriage should be understood as a heterosexual union whose purpose and social function are procreation and the healthy upbringing of children. Accordingly, we should differentiate between homosexual relationships, which lack the necessary conditions for “marriage,” and heterosexual ones, which do not. This differentiation is not based on animus or a desire to harm, but on the understanding of homosexuality as primarily a lifestyle incompatible with marriage. Since homosexual couples are incapable of fulfilling the social function of marriage, the chapter concludes it is justifiable to reject same-sex marriage. While this involves discrimination in the sense of “differentiation,” it does not constitute an unjust denial of rights, since our rights derive from our status as human beings, not our sexual orientation.

Keywords:   discrimination, homosexuality, lifestyle, marriage, equality, toleration, religious freedom, family, procreation

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